Changing Personality?

Sometimes people wonder if the process of therapy will change their personality, if they will be someone other than themselves once they fix the troubling pieces. Good therapy is meant to change the parts you want changed, on your agenda, not the therapist’s. If Oscar the Grouch wanted to process the death of Mr. Cooper, he would still leave therapy a grouch. If Oscar ever wanted to be less grouchy, that would be his choice. Therapy is never meant to make you anything that you are not, except a better version of yourself, fixing what you want changed.

“I’d rather be myself,” he said. “Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly.” Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter & Facebook.

Living with chronic illness

At the time of this writing, I was 11 weeks into a constant migraine and taking steps to figure out a cause and some solutions. That probably doesn’t count a chronic illness yet, but here’s what I’ve learned thus far:

Lower your bar. Do what you can and be where you’re at. It’s okay if all you can do today is nothing. Perhaps you can do a single task for work, or for your home, or for your health and hygiene. That’s okay. Count your wins. Perhaps today I can only lie under the blankets and wish the world away, but I also brushed my teeth. Count that as a win. It’s a little win. But if, today, you could also make a meal for yourself, that’s 2 wins. Some days hold larger or more numerous victories. Count it all.

Do it now, if you can. I’m a procrastinator and leave things for Future Me to do. But since I can’t do everything everyday, Current Me has to be more responsible.

Keep records and be scientific. I started tracking things in Excel (I’m that brand of nerd). I was tracking temperature, barometric pressure, pollen counts, stages of the moon, my temperature, my blood sugar, my blood pressure, my mood, my energy levels, my sleep patterns, pain levels, and what medications I was taking and how they made me feel. This allowed me to have a more productive conversation with my doctor. We could rule things in and out. This got me closer to knowing what was and was not helping, what may be a cause or correlation, and we could discuss it without me saying “I don’t know. I just hurt all the time,” which wasn’t helpful.

Seek help. Talk to your doctor and advocate for yourself. Say “it’s still not better” if that’s true. Take a referral to a specialist – this made a big difference to me. Join a support group online – there’s lots of free peer-run groups on Facebook and elsewhere – but remember that they are people like you and not professionals. Ask people you know if they’ve been through what you’re experiencing and what they suggest. If you’d like to learn to manage pain in the body, I can teach you that through self hypnosis. Please read this article on the process and call the number below to schedule an appointment.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter & Facebook.

Mini-Missions: Simplify & Add Joy to Your Life In Less Than 30 Minutes

Mini-Missions offers a life lesson for each week that can be completed in under 30 minutes. Anything from how to improve your credit score, to how to be a better friend, to how to have a cleaner house is included in this short, handy guide.

It is available at Amazon for only $8.50 (less on Kindle, if you want to keep it for yourself) and even has a match book price if you want to give a paper copy and keep a digital copy, so you’ll save a few bucks!

If you’ve already read it, won’t you please leave a review on Amazon and tell people how your life was made a little better by clicking HERE?

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter & Facebook.

Secondary Trauma?

waves crashing on rocks

I’m hearing the term “secondary trauma” misused frequently. Let’s learn what the different kinds of trauma are.

Trauma is an experience that leaves a negative impact on a person. This is usually caused by a single event (such as, but not limited to: car accident, rape, mugging, natural disaster, or neighborhood violence).

Secondary trauma is what happens to a person in the processing of that event. For example: a person is raped and knows the rapist. They press charges and, as have to give physical evidence, be questioned by police and lawyers, and appear in court facing their abuser. Each step may increase the trauma.

Vicarious trauma is the sort of burn out that trauma therapists, CPS workers, police, or others may endure from working with cases of trauma. It is the strain of carrying another person’s burden. This can be offset by learning to compartmentalize the information they take in as belonging to others.

I will be holding an upcoming webinar on managing vicarious trauma. Please contact me with your interest at autumn@clearmindgroup.com.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter & Facebook.

Be a Quitter: Stop Smoking with Hypnosis

Smashing The Habit

Quit smoking in an effective, lasting manner that takes into account your history, health, and needs. Regular cost is $750, but I’m offering this as a package for $600 if you pre-pay. That’s 5 hours over the course of 4 sessions.

Share this important information with your friends and coworkers! Be quitters together and enjoy better health and a longer life. Continue reading “Be a Quitter: Stop Smoking with Hypnosis”

Talk About Mental Health

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by Beatrice the Biologist

For hundreds of years, mental health has long been talked about in hushed tones.

Is it any wonder, when we started out treating it as possession by evil spirits? Ancient skulls have been found with holes knocked in them to let out the demons. If this was the method of treatment, I’d keep any abnormal thoughts to myself, too, to avoid having to “get better” that way. Continue reading “Talk About Mental Health”

Your Power Song

picjumbo.com_HNCK8495Symbols are powerful instruments used by the brain to store larger clusters of data. Hypnotherapists frequently use symbols to embed commands and anchor to positive emotions. Symbols can be visual or auditory, or even based in touch.

Music is an auditory form of a symbol. Music can evoke Continue reading “Your Power Song”

Mastermind Groups

picjumbo.com_HNCK2146If you do not already have one, I highly recommend starting a Mastermind Group for you and your colleagues.

What is it? A group of people with similar careers meet on a scheduled basis to discuss their progress, growth, share resources, and assist one another.

What’s the benefit? Everyone is better at Continue reading “Mastermind Groups”

No OCD Diagnosis During a Pandemic

Conversation With A  Psychologist

This may become an unpopular opinion, but it is my informed clinical opinion: We mental health professionals should not be diagnosing germ-based OCD now, and for the next year or so.

When making a diagnosis, mental health professionals need to consider the lasting impact of that diagnosis on the client’s medical record, current and future treatment, and their ability to handle knowing their diagnosis. Telling a client that they have OCD as related to germs, illness, or fears thereof during a pandemic dismisses their legitimate fears.

There is an overabundance of news to take in by traditional and social media, many of whose statements are at odds with one another. It can be difficult to know how to feel informed and confusion can reign when finding trusted sources. 

This is an unprecedented time. There is no rule for diagnosing during a pandemic because, thankfully, we have not had one in recent memory that lasted so long or had such far-reaching and significant effects. 

Exceptions: If the problem was in existence before the pandemic by several months, and client is certain that it was in place, but it is exacerbated by the pandemic, I might diagnose OCD. If the problem is not related to germs or illness, I would diagnose OCD.

Once the pandemic is over, as things become “the new normal”, continue to monitor the client. Ask how they are easing back into routine. Anxiety, trauma, depression, or obsessive thoughts may cause them to be slower to reintegrate. Ask if the compulsions are similar or have abated at all. OCD is a big diagnosis and I would not want a client saddled with something so heavy if it were situationally appropriate, even if it was out of proportion. 

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Always Communicate

Yellow tulips on a dark background
Bouquet of yellow tulips on a dark background

It’s cliche because it’s true; communication is key in any relationship. My relationship is no exception. Here’s an excerpt from my real life:

Some friends were coming into town on Friday night for our mutual friend’s birthday party the next day. I suggested to my husband that they might want to get together for a late dinner. I couldn’t attend because I was getting over being sick and needed the extra rest. He said that sounded good. I told him “It’ll take an effort on your part,” meaning he needed to call them to arrange plans.

Husband said “I feel guilty tripped, now. Like I have to call them and go out.”

I said “That’s not how I meant to come across. I wanted to make you aware of an opportunity, in case you choose to make plans. Help me; how would you have liked to have heard that so it didn’t sound like guilt or obligation?”

Husband replied “Maybe if you’d have explained it as an option, or not used the phrase ‘an effort’, because you’ve said that I need to ‘make an effort’ before when I wasn’t seeing our friends.”

I responded “That makes sense to me. Sorry that I made you feel guilty. They’re your friends, too. I’m stuck home, but call them if you want, or you’ll see them tomorrow.”

He did call and they went out. And we all hung out the next day. But there was no animosity, no hurt feelings, no lingering guilt or anger because we discussed it in the moment like rational adults.

What is an example of a time you communicated your feelings and were heard in a positive way? Or is this a skill you’re just learning?

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter, and Facebook. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.